Rain delays bowlers’ opportunity to shine
AUSTRALIA’S second-string bowlers were deprived of the chance to make a meaningful contribution on day two of the tour match against Derbyshire after rain wiped out the final two sessions.
With frontline pace trio Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood rested for next week’s third Ashes Test, Pat Cummins and Peter Siddle have been given a chance to make an impression in Derby.
Cummins is taking part in his maiden first-class game in nearly two years and just his seventh overall due to a spate of injuries, and he claimed a wicket as Derbyshire reached 81 for two before the lunch break.
However, rain set in at the 3aaa County Ground during the lunch interval and showed no signs of abating by the time umpires Chris Gaffaney and Tom Lungley abandoned play for the day at 3pm.
The tourists, having racked up 413 for nine on the first day thanks to centuries from opening batsmen David Warner and Shaun Marsh, declared their innings overnight in order to give their bowlers some practice.
It was a watchful start from Derbyshire openers Ben Slater and Hamish Rutherford, with Siddle keeping things characteristically tight – conceding just one run from his first five overs.
Just as the Derbyshire batsmen appeared to have seen off the danger, Cummins made the breakthrough when New Zealand international Rutherford edged behind for 14.
Slater only contributed 20 before topedging to Adam Voges in the slips, giving Shane Watson his first wicket of the tour.
Watson’s ineffectiveness with the ball during Australia’s defeat to England in the Ashes opener at Cardiff was one of the factors for his axing before the second match at Lord’s last week.
At HQ, his replacement Mitchell Marsh made a couple of big breakthroughs as Australia waltzed to a 405-run win to level the series, although the young all-rounder was wicketless in his seven overs on Friday.
Derbyshire captain Wayne Madsen and young batsman Scott Elstone took the hosts through to lunch without further loss before the inclement weather came in and washed out play for the remainder of the day.